Saturday, February 27, 2010

Go (Geek) Girls!

Thanks to Paul for pointing out this:

Cassidy: Geek Girls Make a Point at Linux Conference

(I have not met these young ladies but I have worked with their dads.)


Friday, February 12, 2010

One tough woman

Dorothy Lillian Lauber, Aug 20, 1913 - Feb 3, 2010
My Grandmother.

Always a strong women, she was the mother of three very different boys - all much taller than her. Until a few weeks before her 96th birthday she lived on her own and had never been in ICU. She lived alone in a condo near town for years after my Grandfather passed and then moved into an apartment in one of those retirement communities with different levels of care. Home care and Hospice allowed her to stay in that apartment to the end.

She passed both the vision test and the driving test to renew her drivers license a few years ago then decided on her own the next winter that she was done driving. My Uncles live in town and took her to appointments and shopping and such after that. She was a wonderful quilter and from what I heard very good at bridge. When I was little, she and I would play double solitaire. In the last few month she didn't have the energy to go to the bridge group meetings or the eye sight to do any more quilting though with a bright light she could still read the newspaper.

My Grandmother is the only relative that I have any real family history for. There is a reference to a book Down the Road to Yesterday, A History of Springfield, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia by Mary F. (Fletcher) Kendrick. Published: 1941. Working up the tree: Dorothy (McGrath) married Joseph Lauber and was the daughter of Cora (Durling) and Bernard McGrath. Cora was the daughter of Matilda (McNayr) and George Durling. Matilda was the daughter of William Sucliffe McNayr who was the son of Boyd McNayr. Boyd was born near Glasgow, Scotland in 1778. His father was an officer in the King's Service and planned to move his family from Glasgow, Scotland to Nova Scotia but died at sea when Boyd was about 8 years old. Boyd eventually made it to Nova Scotia and later married Rachel Beal who's ancestry has its own site.

In October I helped my Grandmother clean out the closet and sort through the last of the sewing and quilting books and tools to give away or donate to a fundraiser. I came across a pincushion that I made for her when I was young and the instructions for a quilt she had made for me. I also found her high school and college year books along with a couple of college text books. I got to hear a few more stories of her younger days such as early morning swims in Lake Winnipesaukee. She said she wouldn't need the Christmas cards from the bottom shelf. It turned out she could have sent some but by then even reading was hard and she wouldn't have been able to really sign them, let alone provide a note. It was a long wait at the end. She is at peace at last.


The Buzz

Buzz, Buzz.
What is that bugging me.
Swat it down.
Just make it die.

There is a complaint free world bracelet out there. The idea is to go 21 days without complaining about anything. The guy that created took something like 3 months to get it off. I asked the person that mentioned it to me how long it would take them. "probably until my dying day".

Me too.

While I am at it.
Is it ever going to get back to normal temperatures and stop snowing in the Carolinas?


Friday, February 5, 2010

Threes, Sevens, and more memories

Do things always happen in threes? Is seven really a lucky number?

It must make for good tv since there was a Criminal Minds on the other night where everything was done in 3's. Three turns of the knob, third floor of the building, three victims, etc.

This week in DC there are three snowstorms - Sat, Tues, and Fri.

The young pandas on their way home to China are travelling on a 777 for luck.

I have often believed that things happen in threes. Both good things and bad things, and I suppose things that might be good for some and bad for others.

Over the last 7 months, 3 people I care about have left this world, one each from 3 generations. One was a friend. One was a friend of the family. One was family. All knowing the end was coming - which is both good and bad. All with bodies that failed and minds that stayed clear - at least clear enough to fight back and clear enough to be frustrated by the changes that could not be prevented. All had a chance to say goodbye to family. All with family that was hurting watching and waiting. All with family that was there to support and love and care. Arielle in July, Mr. Thurston in Oct, and my Grandmother this week, February 3, 2010.

I already wrote about Arielle. Here is my memory of Mr Thurston. I'll preserve the memory of my grandmother in the coming weeks.

Donald Allen Thurston (April 2, 1930 to October 6, 2009)
A friend of my parents and the father of a friend.
A Hall of Fame broadcaster, champion of minorities in broadcasting, a man of great integrity, and much loved family man.
A survivor of cancer and a fighter against the effects of Parkinson's.

I do not remember much of Mr Thurston - I was about 8 the last time I saw him. I do remember his home and eating too many blueberries from the bushes in the back. I remember running between those bushes with the dogs. I have this image of a cold or rainy day and a deck of cards and fresh baked goodies. I remember being a little spoiled at his home though I do not know if that was by him, his wife, or his daughter. It is his daughter that was my babysitter when I was a small child and who I have stayed in touch with all these years. Her husband has provided a wonderful slide show of pictures as well as shared his remarks from the memorial. I shared this with my parents who smiled as they shed a tear and remembered that warm and wonderful smile. Bob also tells a nice story of building a plane a couple of years ago.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

I just want to go home

The original schedule:
A week in Boston for work.
Fly home to NC on Sat.
Drive to DC on Sunday for a week of work.
Drive home Friday night.
Fly to Baltimore Sunday for a week of work.
Fly home Fri night.

Then the weather began to interfere resulting in:
A week in Boston.
No flights home on the weekend due to snow and ice in NC.
Fly straight to DC.

Plans to drive home to NC Fri night are now threatened by big snowstorm in DC with snow and sleet to the south before getting to a rainy NC.

I really do not want to go straight to Baltimore.
I just want to go home.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pink Zone, honors, and memories

Feb 12-21 is this year's WBCA Pink Zone and basketball teams all over will be wearing pink and raising money for Cancer Awareness. The charity of choice is the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and this year the UNC home game during the Pink Zone is against NC State on Sunday, Feb 21. While NC State plays for their beloved coach, UNC will be celebrating the recovery of senior Jessica Breland. Meanwhile, I will be honoring a friend who passed last summer.

Courtney D Hester (October 7, 1966 to July 17, 2009)
A Friend, A mentor, A role model, A leader.
A well loved person with a huge heart who will be missed.
And a fighter through a 9 year battle with breast cancer.

Also known to me and in the SCA as Duchess Arielle the Golden, she was the Queen that awarded me my AOA and despite the sickness and weakness of chemo was at the event where I was awarded my OP. Not just for me - that was a busy day and a busy event, but still she is one of the people I specifically remember was there making that day special. SCA announcement: